Hotel Review: Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel

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I arrived at Ritz-Carlton’s Laguna Niguel property during what locals call “May Grey”, because of the tendency for May to be a bit overcast in Dana Point. However, the air outside was a wonderfully non-humid 68 degrees and there was plenty of sunshine after the early morning clouds lifted.

My reservation consisted of 1 paid night in a regular room at $395, and 2 standard room redemption nights. I upgraded the first night to a Club level room at the time of booking by using a Ritz Carlton annual upgrade certificate.

Because my first night was in a confirmed Club room, I was invited to check in at the Club Lounge.  The Ritz-Carlton Laguna Niguel property is set up a little differently in that as soon as the elevator doors open to the Club Lounge, there’s a reception desk. You have to go past the reception desk and through the lounge in order to reach your room.

As soon as I stepped off the elevator I was greeted by the friendly hostess (and a wall of sweet treats behind her). During check-in, she said that even though I had redeemed for a regular room two of the three nights, she’d allow me to stay in the Club room all three nights, which was very generous indeed. The Club room typically goes for $795 a night. What a spectacular redemption this turned out to be!

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She got me situated with a room key, and I was on my way.

Heading down the hall to the room, it was lunchtime. I noticed the large assortment of food that the lounge had on offer. Sandwiches, crudité, hearty salads, etc.

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Being back in SoCal, the first thing I did when I got in the room was rush to the window and breathe in that wonderful salty sea air. There was an amazing view from the balcony that I could have watched for hours. The hotel is perched on the edge of  a cliff so there are no roads to cross or buildings to look over the top of. Directly below the room was a grassy lawn where I saw some families relaxing in chairs, taking in the view.

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The bathroom had double vanities, a walk in shower and a soaking tub. The amenities were by Asprey.

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There was also a closet with bathrobe, mending kit, iron, and several drawers.

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In a corner of the room next to the windows there was a small separate area with coffee maker, ice bucket, complimentary water bottles, a safe, and an empty fridge. The water was restocked daily if any of them had been opened, during morning housekeeping service and also at night during turn down service. At first I thought it odd that there was no minibar, but the Club lounge was just a few doors down. Guests are welcome to help themselves any time to sodas, water, or snacks and I guess the hotel thinks that it is a good replacement.

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The bed linens were luxuriously soft, and there was a daybed placed at the foot of the bed. The room was decorated in the calm sea colors of blues and greens.

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A desk was near the window, for a gorgeous view while working.

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The carpet was thick and whisper soft. In fact, I didn’t hear any noise from adjacent rooms during the entire stay.

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After leaving the hotel for some time and returning later in the evening, I passed through the Club lounge on the way to the room and picked up a couple of delicious evening desserts.

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Turn down service had already been there, and on the desk was a row of delectable French macarons, which disappeared shortly after this picture. Each night thereafter, little surprises were left during the turndown service.

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One night I returned to the room to find a whole imaginative seascape had been crafted, with edible “sand”, “shells”, cookies and chocolates.

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Early the next morning I went to breakfast in the Club Lounge so I could grab a quick bite to eat before going to the beach. Champagne was available all day, even at breakfast, and I saw bagels, fruit, juices, eggs, sausages, and pastries.

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They even had a box filled with fresh cookies, available all day long for the peckish or sweet-toothed.

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After getting my sugar rush for the day, I went down to Salt Creek beach. I walked, but there’s a buggy that will take you down and back if you don’t feel like walking. I think the cost was $2.

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About half-way down there’s an ice cream shop with tables and chairs, and then once you get to the beach there is plenty of room to stake out your spot. The hotel offers surfing packages too. The view back up to the hotel shows its great location.

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There are also awe-inspiring views around the hotel if your room doesn’t have an ocean view.

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Even the workout room features floor to ceiling windows.

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A fun sign on the wall of my room advertised some of the items on the hotel’s fun “inspiration” menu, like the “Romantic Evening” with Veuve Cliquot Brut Yellow Label Champagne, Caviar, and accountrements for the small sum(!) of $290.

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I opted for a more reasonable package the last evening of my stay – the $35 “Night at the Movies”, which included Popcorn, Candy, sodas, an in-room Movie, and a magazine. A little expensive, but if we had actually driven to the movies, the cost would have been much higher and not half as much fun. Seeing a gorgeous sunset, smelling the salt laced ocean breeze while cozy on the bed watching a movie and eating popcorn, it was a wonderful way to finish the trip.

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From the relaxed atmosphere and comfortable rooms to the top notch Club Lounge service and location, this hotel offers a perfect beach getaway. I can’t wait to return!

Ritz-Carlton Rewards Tier 3 property. 50,000 Ritz-Carlton or Marriott Rewards points for a free night.

Ritz Carlton Laguna Niguel

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Good To Go

+ Stunning ocean views from all over the hotel
+ Buggy service provided down the hill to the beach (and more importantly, back up!) was just $2
+ Personable service
+ Sea-themed rooms are relaxing
+ Sandy beach with good swimming area

Good To Know

- Self-parking not available at hotel, valet only

How many Magic Stars did this hotel stay earn?

 5/5 Magic Stars
  1. Trish
    Reply

    Thanks for a good review. DId you have to pay any extra money to upgrade to the club level room the first night? During your check in, was it done at the front lobby or the at the club lounge? I would love to get the same favor at this hotel like you did.

    • Melinda
      Reply

      Hi Trish. The first night I paid for a regular room but in advance I applied an annual Ritz upgrade certificate to get the Club room. Check-in was done in the actual club lounge, which was great. Sitting in comfortable chairs, we were offered champagne and then I could just head straight down the hall to the room afterwards without having to get back in the elevator. Thanks for reading!

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